RYA Yachtmaster Theory - syllabus

 1. Position
    Dead reckoning and estimated position
    Satellite derived positions
    Use of waypoints to fix position
    Radar fixes
    Techniques of visual fixing
    Fixes using a mixture of position lines
    Relative accuracy of different methods of position fixing
    Areas of uncertainty
2. The magnetic compass
    Allowance for variation
    Change of variation with time and position
    Causes of deviation
    Swing for deviation (but not correction)
    Allowance for deviation
    Different types of compass
3. Tides
    Causes of tides - Springs and Neaps
    Tide tables - sources
    Tidal levels and datum
    Standard and secondary ports
    Tidal anomolies (Solent, etc)
4. Tidal streams
    Sources of tidal information
    Tidal stream information in sailing directions and Yachtsmen's Almanacs
    Allowance for tidal streams in computing a course to steer
    Tide rips, overfalls and races
    Tidal observation buoys, beacons etc
5. Buoyage
    IALA system buoyage in Region A
    Limitations of buoys as navigational aids
6. Lights
    Ranges - visual, luminous and nominal
    Rising and dipping distances
    Light lists
7. Pilotage
    Harbour regulations and control signals
    Methods of pre-planning
    Clearing lines
    Use of soundings
    Transits and leading lines
8. GPS and chart plotters
    Principles of operation and limitations of use
    Raster and vector charts
    Importance of confirmation of position by an independent source and keeping a separate record of position
    Importance of paper charts
9. Echo sounders 
    Principles of operation and limitations of use
10. Logs (speed and distance measuring)
    Principles of operation and limitations of use
11. Deck log
    Importance of log as yacht's official document
    Layout of log, hourly and occasional entries
12. Meteorology
    Basic terms, the beaufort scale
    Air masses
    Cloud types
    Weather patterns associated with pressure and frontal systems
    Sources of weather forecasts
    Ability to interpret a shipping forecast,  weather satellite and digital information
    Land and sea breezes
    Sea fog
    Use of a barometer as a forecasting aid
13. Rules of the road
    A sound knowledge of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, except Annexes 1 and 3
14. Safety at Sea
    Personal safety, use of lifejackets, safety harnesses and lifelines
    Fire prevention and fire fighting
    Distress signals
    Coastguard and boat safety scheme
    Preparation for heavy weather
    Liferafts and helicopter rescue
    Understanding of cababilities of vessels and basic knowledge of stability
15. Navigation in restricted visibility
    Precautions to be taken in fog
    Limitations to safe navigation imposed by fog
    Navigation strategy in poor visibility
16. Passage planning
    Preparation of charts and notebook for route planning and making and use at sea
    Customs regulations as they apply to yachts
    Routine for navigating in coastal waters
    Strategy for course laying
    Use of waypoints and routes
    Use of weather forecast information for passage planning strategy
    Sources of local and national regulations
17. Marine Environment
    Responsibilty to minimise pollution and protect the marine environment

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